Message Fest

1629, Sea Season, Probably Movement Week, Windsday


Lenta has travelled down to Nochet after the events by the Six Sisters. Session SA4.16.


In Nochet – Lenta has ridden into town and told Irillo she has some business to attend. She thanks him for the company and asks him to come to the Hulta palazzo the next day. She smiles to the young Blue Tree wife who has been her travelling companion and wishes her a pleasant stay with her relatives. Than she nods and rides towards the Heortling quarters.

The quarters of this particular Heortling are five minutes of walking from the Saiciae residence, or about twice that, riding through a busy street. There is an alleyway that is far too narrow for well-bred women to enter, but the man who gave directions swears that just past the sign of the bison there is a small yard that is very trustworthy, where she can leave a mount.

Lenta nods to the man imperiously, dismounts and lead her horse towards the pointed alleyway.

The Sign of the Bison and Three Sticks is known by a variety of other names. The Bull in a Skittle Shop is one. The Cow on a Stool, another. The door is open to help cool the place, and there is clearly a lot of custom. There are two, or maybe three floors above the common room.

There is indeed an ostler’s yard, perhaps unexpected, a little further along. It too is recogniseable by its sign, a horse painted in a square.

Lenta leads her mount in, asks the man in charge to take good care of her mount, pays triple the required fare in copper and walks into the inn.

The yard is a good match for horses, strange as it may seem. Hemmed in on all sides, it is safe from horse-thieves. Berra’s bison is within the main courtyard, eating hay. Followed gives Lenta a blank look, and gets on with her task.

The sounds and sights of an inn that does food for passing trade greet the Hulta. There is a bar at one end with drinks behind it, and set into the wood are pots of bread-thick beer, and cheap vegetable stew with fish for flavour and meatiness. The tables are half empty, from one point of view, half full from another.

A couple of harried-looking men are trying to take money and serve a growing queue.

Lenta looks at the queue and sits at one of the tables, with her back to the wall and a place she can look at both the bar and the door.

There are dozens of people already here. Someone swinging by gives Lenta a second glance and asks, “Lady, are you sure you’re in the right place?”

Nobody here looks particularly rough, but certainly nobody stands out as having good breeding – save her.

Lenta waits for a while and observes the hall and flow of people.

And waits.

The tables begin to fill up, as the queue lengthens. A warrior with the look of Sartar walks in, and goes up the stairs. She is not Berra, but someone whose armour says North and whose tattoos say Humakt.

Lenta stretches and raises up and goes to the queue of the bar. The looks she gives to other patrons can at best be described as polite.

Although she sticks out, they make room for her. Their general demeanour is best described as uncomfortable, but nobody makes trouble.

“Good evening, good master. I am Lenta Hulta. I am looking for Berra Humakti from Sartar who told me she would residing at this establishment?” Saddlebags and the noble casual dress don’t really work together and the tired look on Lenta’s face is not quite what is expected of a noblewoman.

The man gives Lenta a look, and just says, “Upstairs. Second floor – top one that doesn’t need a ladder. Next?” No politeness beyond the answer. He is already ignoring her.

She nods and walks towards the pointed direction.

Her gait is light as if she was carrying nothing and had not ridden a full day. And of course her hems sway like they had been swept by the winds of Orlanth.101 on CON: the tiredness is not physical.

The stairs are narrow, switchbacking back and forth a couple of times. As she reaches the second floor she can hear quiet voices.

A young woman speaks. “-warrior, and she’s gathering more of them. He’s got magic, I bet you.”

“Nah, yer off-f y’horse. He’s rich. I bet you ‘e’s gonna dedicate an altar.” A man, probably poor in upbringing. He has an accent a lot like Berra’s. Both are Heortling.

Lenta’s plan is to knock on the doorframe and walk in, but …

The warrior she saw earlier, and another, just as young, are seated on low stools outside a door. The young man stands as Lenta approaches, and that makes the woman bob up as well. “Can I help you?” she says, and the young man puts his arm out. “Nope.”

Lenta looks at the young man with a look one might give to an ill trained dog and turns towards the woman. “I have a message to Berra of Blue Tree. Is she in?”

“Maybe,” the young man says, and keeps his arm in the way.

“Ma’am, who asks?” The young woman sticks with Heortling, but her words are simple enough that an Esrolian might understand most.

“My name is Lenta Hulta.” She replies in Heortling with a soft Esrolian accent “And the message is from her sister Yehna.”2Fumbled Heortling.

“A sausage?” the young man asks his companion.

The woman switches to tradetalk. “Please, again?”

The door opens. “Uh, Lenta, did Yehna really send you all this way with a sausage? What?” Berra stands there, confused.

“What are you talking about Berra?” Lenta looks perplexed.

“You just said my sister sent you with a sausage.” Berra pushes the young man’s hand gently from the doorframe.

“Yeah, an’ a word that don’t just mean the eatin’ kind,” he supplies.

“SHUT UP HARMAKT,” the young woman on the other side of the door whispers.

Berra gives Lenta a look that says ‘yes, this is happening’.

“Tidings? ” Lenta tries in Esrolian ” May I come in?”

“Yeah, please do.” Berra tilts her head to one side. “Yes.”

The two youths settle back down, although Berra says to them both, “Thank you.”

Inside it is clear she has what is probably the best room in the inn. There are two beds here, and two low pallets. One of the beds is clearly occupied by a Humakti – there is a sword lying on it. The other one has a small pile of clothes next to it, and a folded cloak that looks familiar. One bed for Berra, another for Varanis, it seems.3Lenta passes INTx3

There is also a table with a couple of stools next to it, and the room is big enough to have two windows. It is short of luxurious, but it beats sleeping in a common room, and it is large enough for everyone to have a space.

Lenta looks around and nods towards the stools.

“Message!” Berra says as she gets towards the table. “Right. Message. That makes more sense. Come sit down. I’ve got water and some light beer here, and I can send down for wine. The only food’s what I carry with me, until evening, though. We’re fasting in preparation for a journey, but you don’t have to.”

Lenta sits down and lets the saddlebags fall down. “Water would be good Berra, mules do not go fast but it has been a long day…”

Berra pours water into a cup, swirls it for a moment, and pours that into another cup. Having cleaned the first one, she then fills it properly. “Just in case of dust,” she says. “How was your journey?” She peers into the cup with a little water in, frowning as if she could see tiny motes if she tried hard enough.

“We followed the paths of Issaries… So no surprises.” Lenta looks at the other bed and then at her bowl. “But it was dusty. Heler be praised when they arrive next time.”

Berra smiles very slightly, amused. “We came down the river and that was pretty easy. I can get you some lime or honey to put in it if you want?” The little Humakti leans over to grab a tiny tray with salt and fish sauce on. “If you’ve been hot, add a tiny bit of something to it.”

Lenta smiles at Berra kind of sadly “I guess I better fulfill my task to you so I will be unburdened of one thing.”

“Oh?” Berra puts the water cup she is not using down and out of the way. Fasting seems to mean no drinking today, either. In late Sea Season in Nochet, that is punishing.

Lenta fiddles with her cup, puts it on the table and then looks Berra in the eyes.”This is hard even if you may be better prepared to hear this than many others. Big sist… Yehna asked me to pass you the tidings that you are now the eldest of your line. Your grandmother Kymmia passed on to halls of Ty Kora Tek…. I am sorry for your loss.”

Berra looks down at the cup, and then at her hands. “Yeah. It’s been coming a while. Thank you for letting me know.” Her emotions just got calm.

“Not tidings I liked to bring, but I thought you should hear as soon as possible… It was peaceful Yehna said. The age…” Lenta looks down, wipes some dust from her eye makeup and looks up. “I guess I should be on my way towards the palazzo.”

Her posture does not suggest any movement, just tiredness.

“Yeah. I… thanks.” Berra nearly gets up, and then does not. “Would you like me to get you something? You’re tired and that’s probably going to be a big talk.”

Lenta leans her head back, closes her eyes and shakes her head. “I am fine. I just need to gather my resolve.”

Berra stays still, and calm, and quiet. Apparently she can do that after all.

After a while Lenta raises up and lifts her saddlebags on he shoulder. She looks at the other bed and nods “It would have been a sign of weakness to postpone it anyway. I have fulfilled my task to you Berra Humakti.” Another nod this time towards Humakti. As she walks towards the door she says over her shoulder “give my regards to Varanis. I hope we’ll meet soon.”

Berra stands to go get the door. “You did what you said,” she replies, and nothing more.

“For someone else I’d offer a hug, Berra. I know you do not wish those.” Lenta walks out of the door.

“Different kind of sausages?” The question is left in the air with a raised eyebrow of Lenta. “I suppose my Heortling is limited and in need of tutoring…”

Harmakt says, “Uh?” as he considers it. “Um, meat market maybe?” She does not seem to have got through to him, for all he seems intelligent.4She passes Charm. The guards might like her – but they do not respond to her in Fertility terms.

Lenta nods as if he confirmed something.

As Lenta goes down the stairs, there is whispering from above. “Harmakt, you’re letting down lady Berra!”

“No, I’m protectin’ ‘er. People that don’t know sausages from meat-sticks shoun’t be… Lady! Yes, I know what she looks like.”

In the end it is Nayale who is sent down to catch up with Lenta, with a simple message; Hareva Hulta would like a visit, and Berra says that Lenta should be careful not to be seen encouraging her to go abroad. That is all Nayale knows to say.

“Thank you… Nayale” she looks sharply upstairs “Maybe lady Berra should try staying in a cage before telling others to tell other people stay in one. ” She closes her fist and and eyes. After a pause she opens her eyes “I am being unfair. She means well with her advice. You can tell her I will be cautious, according to my understanding.”

Nayale’s eyes narrow a bit, and she bows, and that is that.

  • 1
    01 on CON: the tiredness is not physical.
  • 2
    Fumbled Heortling.
  • 3
    Lenta passes INTx3
  • 4
    She passes Charm. The guards might like her – but they do not respond to her in Fertility terms.